Nicola Sturgeon coronavirus briefing: Why there is no briefing on Tuesday, and how First Minister will update Scotland instead
There will be no lunchtime coronavirus briefing from the First Minister on Tuesday, with Nicola Sturgeon instead due to give an afternoon update from Holyrood on where each local authority area in Scotland sits in the five-level system.
Today’s weekly briefing, which is expected to take place around 2.15pm, comes after Ms Sturgeon revealed that in the past six days more than 18,000 vaccinators and health and care workers have received the first dose of the vaccine against Covid-19.
Speaking at the Scottish Government's coronavirus briefing on Monday, Ms Sturgeon welcomed the news that vaccination of care home residents and staff began on Monday as a “hugely important step in protecting many of the people who are most at risk from this virus.”
However, she said there was still a while to go before any return to normality.
She said: “Although today is an important day and gives us all yet more hope for the future we are still some way off a complete return to normal life.
“Covid still presents a real and present danger, the figures we report every day are evidence of that, we are not yet out of the woods.”
Ms Sturgeon also urged Scots to “cut down on unnecessary contacts” now if they plan to meet up with relatives at Christmas.
Rules on household meetings are being eased for five days over the festive period, allowing up to eight people from three households to meet indoors.
And the First Minister said the “best Christmas gift we can give family and friends” is to "keep our distance and keep them safe".
She conceded Christmas could be one of the hardest periods in the coronavirus crisis for many.
“We have been living with this for 10 months, it is wearisome, it is difficult, it is causing a lot of people a lot of mental stress and worry and anxiety,” the First Minister said. “It is tough. I think it is.”
At last week's review of Scotland’s local protection levels, Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that all 11 council areas which had been under Level 4 restrictions would move into Level 3.
She also confirmed that Edinburgh would not move from Level 3, despite health officials recommending that the city be moved into Level 2 earlier this week.
Areas moving down from level four to level three were: East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling and West Lothian.
Areas staying at level three included Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, Dundee City, Perth and Kinross, Fife, Midlothian and North Ayrshire.
In level two are: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Falkirk, Inverclyde, Argyll and Bute, and East Lothian.
Level one areas are Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.
Ms Sturgeon’s address to MSPs will be broadcast live on The Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News, as well as on BBC Scotland and Scottish Parliament TV.
You can also follow along on our live blog, which will have up-to-the minute information.
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